As with any treatment, an examination or consultation is required. The dentist first needs to look at the tooth in question and discuss the different treatment options with you.
When considering an inlay or onlay
, an X-ray
is needed to check the following things:
- Has it been root filled? If yes, the success of this must also be assessed.
Note. If a tooth has had a root canal, then it is generally best restored by a full coverage crown
(A full coverage inlay/onlay is a viable alternative.)
- Are there any signs of infection around the end of the root indicating the tooth needs a root canal treatment?
- How does the periodontal support of the tooth look?
- What is the extent of the decay, if there is any? Is the tooth restorable? If the decay or caries extends deep under the gum, the tooth may not be able to be saved and need an extraction
- How close it gets to the nerve chamber is also important in predicting future problems and deciding whether or not to perform a root canal. Special tests will also help in determining the most appropriate treatment.
The actual procedure for an inlay/onlay takes two appointments unless a CEREC machine is being used to fabricate it, whilst you are in the chair. The first appointment to prepare the tooth tends to take a little longer (about an hour) than the second appointment (to cement it in).